October 18, 2010

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Opening Of New Passport Office In Buffalo

New Passport Office Means Western New Yorkers Will No Longer Have to Travel to New York City for Certain Foreign Travel

Today, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced the opening of a new passport office on Genesee Street in downtown Buffalo. The passport center was unveiled this morning in a ribbon cutting ceremony with Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick F. Kennedy; the new office will be one of only 23 nationwide and will work to boost regional commerce and make travel easier for Western New Yorkers.

“The opening of the new passport office in Buffalo is a win-win-win. It will boost the region’s economy by making cross border commerce easier, it will simplify the passport process for Western New Yorkers and create good paying jobs,” Schumer said. “For years, when people in Western New York needed a passport for business or travel they often had to travel to New York City, with today’s opening that inconvenience is no longer, people in our region will have a passport center in their backyard.”

"The new passport office will serve the Western New York community’s immediate needs, contribute to the revitalization of downtown Buffalo, and stimulate long-term economic growth throughout the region," Senator Gillibrand said. "Western New Yorkers have grown accustomed to regular trips across the border, and with a one-stop shop for travel documents, they can continue to do so while meeting today’s travel requirements. For Buffalo, the benefit of easing travel burdens on the region’s residents will encourage cross-border commerce, which is critical to Western New York’s economic vitality, and stimulate the tourism industry."

"This new passport office delivers multiple benefits here locally," said Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27).  "In addition to providing better services for local residents, we are facilitating the smooth and efficient flow of traffic between Western New York and southern Ontario which is important to our economic future, and making a major long-term investment with job creation in our downtown core. This entire project is another victory for Western New Yorkers and I am pleased to join with my colleague Chris Lee, Secretary Clinton, and Under Secretary Kennedy to make this happen."

“The new passport facility is a long-term investment in our community and will enable Western New Yorkers to more easily conduct cross-border commerce,” said Congressman Chris Lee. “Brian and I both understood that the WHTI requirements would mean that thousands of Western New Yorkers would be unable to conduct the international business they depend on, and I’m pleased we were able to quickly join together and urge the State Department to establish a full-service passport office to serve Western New Yorkers.”

The new office will help Western New Yorkers cut through the red tape that often comes with getting a passport. From now on, when residents need a passport expedited, have a problem or need to get clearance for certain foreign travel,  they will be able to do so in their backyard as opposed to making a long trip downstate to New York City. This new convenience will be especially important for businesses that engage in cross border commerce meaning they can make transactions more quickly thereby boosting the region’s economy. The new passport office will be located at the freshly restored Gateway Building on Genesee Street in downtown Buffalo.

Schumer and Gillibrand have both worked to cut through red tape for businesses and travelers seeking to get passports, with the new center opening it will be one of only 23 in the nation and employ a full staff of 27.